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Hala Alyan’s “The Moon That Turns You Back” Seeks Rest From a Life in Flux
Alyan, a psychologist and author in the Palestinian diaspora, is known for her previous novels "Salt Houses" and “The Arsonists' City.” She has been an outspoken advocate for Palestine’s freedom, and more recently, a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Alyan, a psychologist and author in the Palestinian diaspora, is known for her previous novels "Salt Houses" and “The Arsonists' City.” She has been an outspoken advocate for Palestine’s freedom, and more recently, a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Notably, Alyan has penned a number of essays advocating for empathy towards Palestians and those in the diaspora since Oct. 7 that seamlessly blend her experience in psychology and literature.
“The Moon That Turns You Back” is Alyan’s fifth book of poetry and seventh book overall. Learn more about the poetry collection from the publisher, HarperCollins:
From the author of “The Arsonists’ City” and “The Twenty-Ninth Year,” a new collection of poetry that traces the fragmentation of memory, archive, and family — past, present, future — in the face of displacement and war.
A diaspora of memories runs through this poetry collection — a multiplicity of voices, bodies and houses hold archival material for one another, tracing paths between Brooklyn, Beirut and Jerusalem. Boundaries and borders blur between space and time and poetic form — small banal moments of daily life live within geopolitical brutalities and, vice versa, the desire for stability lives in familiarity with displacement.
These poems take stock of who and what can displace you from home and from your own body — and, conversely, the kind of resilience, tenacity and love that can bring you back into yourself and into the context of past and future generations. Hala Alyan asks, What stops you from transforming into someone or something else? When you have lived a life in flux, how do you find rest?
Hala Alyan is the author of the novel “Salt Houses,” winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize, as well as the novel “The Arsonists' City” and four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently “The Twenty-Ninth Year.” Her work has been published by The New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets, Literary Hub, the New York Times Book Review and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, where she works as a clinical psychologist.
“The Moon That Turns You Back” will publish on March 12, 2024. Preorder your copy at the link below.